Helping St. Jude helps save young lives

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Every time we head north on I-55 to Julia’s checkups, like Kenny Chesney states in his song “I go back,” I do just that, go back.

I go back to a campus that at first scared the heck out of me, but over time, became home.

I go back to a family of doctors and nurses so focused and relentless on curing childhood cancer that even a 98-percent cure rate is unacceptable.

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I go back to new infrastructure that gets completed in record time because children’s lives depend on it.

I go back to the Target House, where even after seven years; they call me by name, hug my children and give us their undivided attention as to how my family and I have been doing.

I go back and see new families at the aftercare clinic, which means remission.

And I go back and see new families at the admissions desk, which means a new diagnosis.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is a beautiful place and a shot of realism all in one setting. If there was ever a place you would wish for new business to sharply decline, it’s St. Jude.

Unfortunately, new patients grace its doors every day, and that’s why we give. For the past seven years, Natchez has created a very special evening for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and my family for which words really can’t describe my deepest gratitude. Because of your efforts, miracles keep happening.

Recently, my family and I traveled home to visit my mother and take in the Food and Wine Festival. While out and about, I ran into Margaret Green, who introduced me to Fontaine Howard, one of her dear friends whose life took the same bumpy road as mine did years ago.

We shared our stories and how our lives changed, how our family and communities rallied and how the good souls and spirits of people we didn’t know entered our lives, stamped our hearts and left us forever thankful. Although our children’s diagnoses were different, our game plans were the same, our hospital was the same and our outcome the same — remission.

Sunday at the Castle Restaurant, the seventh annual St. Jude Benefit Dinner will take place, and all proceeds will go toward beating childhood cancers. I can tell you first hand that every day progress is made at St. Jude.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m.; call 601-446-8500 for reservations. Dinner is $60, with all proceeds going to St. Jude.

Your generous donations fuel the engine of research, the research that makes a certain fourth-grade girl from Jackson and a rising freshman at the University of Alabama very happy.

May God Bless you all.


Wray Eidt is the father of cancer survivor Julia Eidt.